I’ve still got tens of thousands of baseball cards in my basement from back in the day, but I haven’t bought a new one in nearly 20 years. Just sort of lost interest, even if I still love my old ones. My mom showed up at my house today, however, with a box of those new Topps 206 cards, figuring that I might like them. And I do like them, if for no other reason than it makes me happy that my mom was thinking about me when she was at the store. Moms are cool.
So I’m opening up the packages and I’m looking at them this morning when my six year-old daughter comes into the room. She picks one up — a Nick Markakis “relic” card with a scrap of one of his game-worn jerseys in it.
“Why is this one different than the others,” she says.
“Well, it has a little piece of his uniform in it,” I said.
“Why?” Anna says.
“Because some people like to collect stuff like that.”
“That’s pretty stupid,” says Anna, “People should just be happy with their own shirts.”
And thus I am reminded why I haven’t bought any baseball cards in nearly 20 years.
The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.